Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pearce Shaking Money Tree As Race With Teague Nears, Plus: Lewis Quietly Starts Another Treasurer Race, And: My Bottom Lines For The First Day Of Fall 

Steve Pearce
For Steve Pearce it's the money poll that counts at this early stage of the 2010 campaign. The former southern GOP US Rep. will try to move the needle on that tonight in ABQ as he is feted at a major fund-raiser at the ABQ home of John Sanchez, the 2002 GOP Guv nominee, a roofing contractor who will bring in the heavy financial hitters. (Minimum contribution $250). Pearce'a numbers in his first money report that will cover the July thru September quarter will be closely watched. Pearce announced July 5 that he would challenge freshman Dem US Rep. Harry Teague.

Bringing back Pearce is the R's best bet for taking a congressional seat in NM next year. But it won't be easy. We are already hearing rumblings from some R's that Pearce's torch doesn't burn quite as bright because in 2008 he gave up the southern House seat to make an ill-fated run for US Senate.

Pearce this week will also tap into some of that oil money he is so familiar with. Oilman Fred Yates is among those on the host committee for a Pearce fund-raiser in Roswell Saturday night.


Among those on the host committee for the Sanchez fund-raiser tonight is former ABQ GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson who waged battle against Pearce for the US senate nomination last year and lost. But Steve was throwing kisses to Heather in a recent Roll Call article. Speaking of her possibly running for the 2010 GOP Guv nod, he opined:

It would be nice if we had someone running with a better ID,” he said. “If Heather runs, it definitely runs our chances up the flagpole. I think we’ve got good candidates. The problem is name ID. That’s an expensive problem to solve.”

It sure is, but Steve has an equally expensive problem. Raising the millions needed to compete against fellow oil multi-millionaire Teague. He has never liked to spend his own money on a campaign, but this one is different and he told Roll Call the cobwebs could come off his wallet:

Pearce said it is his preference not to spend any of his own money on the campaign, but said he would not dismiss the possibility.

The pestering of Pearce to spend personal funds will only grow if he falls too far behind Teague who spent $1.5 million of his own money in 2008 and who has nearly $600,000 stockpiled for '10.


Get out the pink for GOP Guv candidate Doug Turner. Monday this news broke in response to my e-mail inquiry on whether there was another Turner on the planet:

Now there is another Turner in the world!! 6 lbs 9 oz baby girl born today at Presbyterian at 4:45! No name yet. Everyone healthy! Whew...

That "whew" was prompted in part by the baby's late arrival. The Turners, the parents of a son, had expected the newcomer over a week ago. Needless to say, Doug, 40, reports the campaign trail will be without him for a while. Do you think Allen Weh can be godfather and Susana Martinez godmother??

James Lewis is quietly going about seeking his third, four year term as NM Treasurer. You heard right--a third term. Lewis was appointed to fill a vacancy in the post in 1985 by Governor Anaya. In '86, he ran and won a four year term and in 2006, Dems called on him in the wake of the epic treasurer scandal involving Robert Vigil. He easily won. Now the 61 year old Roswell native, who has not been embroiled in any financial scandals of his own and runs an office that has stayed out of the headlines, is quietly campaigning. He held a fund-raiser at a private home in the Santa Fe area over the weekend. Lewis, owner of one of the lengthiest resumes in state politics, is not expected to draw a Dem challenger. More important, R's tell me they have no major candidate lined up yet to seek the office. Despite intermittent scandals, no R has been elected Treasurer since the mid-60's.


The long march for the governor's chair will officially get underway October 1 and Light Guv Diane Denish is rallying the troops:

Last week, we sent an email asking you to volunteer for the upcoming signature collection drive, which will begin on October 1. From that email alone, more than 125 of you signed-up for shifts. Combine that with the volunteers who already committed to work shifts and we're almost there! But there are still a few shifts left to fill--so sign up today to help Diane take that first step towards becoming New Mexico's next Governor...

The Denish camp also comments on the ABQ Journal poll released Sunday and putting her job approval rating at 52 percent. They call that rating "strong" and add:

We know that polls will go up and down, but Diane has a record that speaks for itself--fighting to create new jobs, strengthening our education system and helping small businesses succeed. The people of New Mexico know Diane, they trust Diane and they believe she's uniquely qualified to lead our state during these difficult times...


Just tuning in to the Oct. 6 city election? The League of Women Voters is out with their election guide, detailing the candidates and issues...

About our Friday blog featuring a pic of Natassia Weber, granddaughter of former state House Majority Leader Michael Olguin. The former Socorro lawmaker, now a lobbyist, e-mails:

What a great surprise to see this beautiful young lady with that great Olguin smile...You just never know where an Olguin will pop-up! By the way, my son, Michael Olguin, Jr., was elected to the Socorro City Council last year at age 27, making him the youngest councilor ever elected to that Council...

The Santa Fe New Mexican picks up on the news we broke here Sept. 16th that Lawrence Rael, Dem contender for Light Guv, is featured prominently on 30 second cable TV ads touting Rail Runner safety. The paper reports the ad run is for six weeks and cost the Mid-Region Council of Governments, which Rael heads, about $8,600. There's not much Rael's political foes can do about the ads which are building name ID for Rael. He says they have nothing to do with his candidacy, but are about safety. Right. And this blog is about world travel!

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